Dirty old towns will soon be cleaning up
Dublin is popularly known as a 'dirty old town' - even though the phrase is actually the title of a British song, written by Ewan MacColl, about his own backyard of Salford, Lancashire.
But just as the term fits the bill for our less than clean capital, it could equally apply to plenty of more modestly sized settlements around Ireland. Unfortunately, without the economic upside that comes with being a majorly populated, if polluted, metropolis.
For a new study finds that country towns and villages are stagnating as the rural-urban gulf continues to widen. Rural areas are blighted with emigration, the loss of garda stations, bank branches and post offices, while a large number of shops are boarded up.